School Lunch and Snack Tips and Ideas for Back to School

It's back to school time and so we are thinking about all those little details of preparing for the school year. Making healthy school lunches and snacks is a big one. We asked the moms of Mommy Poppins what their best tips for easy healthy snack options and school lunch recipes were and they came up with a bunch of really original school lunch box ideas, as well as some old standbys.

Read on to find out what we're putting in our kids' lunch boxes for school lunch and snacks:

What's for Dinner? Meal-Planning Sites and Apps for Families

Eons ago (OK, just five years) we did a post on family meal planning. In fact, it was one of the very first things we blogged about here at Mommy Poppins. But a lot's changed since then, and the rise of smartphones, social networks and a gazillion new websites gives us many new options to chew on when it comes to making meals.

You can't overestimate the importance of sitting down to family meals. Studies show that eating as a family benefits everyone, especially children, who are then less likely to become obese, fall into substance abuse or have low self-esteem. Of course preparing dinner (and breakfast and brunch and lunch) isn't always easy to pull off. Happily, there are a slew of online meal-planning sites, mobile apps and meal swapping tools to help get healthy, budget-friendly meals on your table. Here are some of our current favorites.

Make Your Own Granola Bars

Granola bars are a snack that kids love and parents can feel good about giving their kids - or so the ads say. But many granola bars aren't much better than candy bars and are loaded with sugar, fat, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. I found a really easy recipe for granola bars on AllRecipes and I've been making our own ever since. We whip up a batch every weekend for the upcoming week - perfect for back to school time. You could also make more and freeze them. The kids love them and love making them. It's fun for them to eat healthy snacks they've made themselves.

5 Local, Must-Try Ice Cream Shops in Lower Hudson Valley

Few summer traditions are as timeless as ice cream melting down your wrist on a hot day. My kids and I don't need much of an excuse to indulge in this tasty treat and though ice cream stands, shops and chains are plentiful throughout lower Hudson Valley, there are a few local shops that really stand out. All of these are destination worthy, using handmade or locally sourced ice cream for their creative concoctions and traditional favorites. Here is our list of 5 destination-worthy ice cream shops in lower Hudson Valley. Also, be sure to check out our top picks for local ice cream shops in Westchester County!

Al fresco Dining with Kids In and Around Boston

When the weather is so nice that you just want to spend every moment outdoors, you might wish you could find a restaurant with the elusive combination of good food, outdoor seating, and kid-friendliness. We’ve discovered a few places that not only take your family outside, but around the world, too. Read on for culinary adventures the whole family will enjoy.

Faneuil Hall with Kids: Top 10 Things to Do

Faneuil Hall might be a great place for tourists, but it's a pretty fantastic spot for locals, too. With one of the 10 coolest stops for kids on the Freedom Trail and some of the best places to eat along the Trail, along with tons of fun activities especially for children, you can easily spend a full afternoon without once hearing, "I'm bored." Read on for the 10 best kid-tested things to do while visiting Faneuil Hall with kids.


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